Primark gets green light to build new store at Belfast's Bank Buildings

The outlet was destroyed by a major fire back in August

Primark gets green light to build new store at Belfast's Bank Buildings

The five-storey Bank Buildings in Belfast city centre which were devastated by a fire | Image: David Young/PA Wire/PA Images

Irish firm Primark has been granted permission to start work on the Bank Buildings in Belfast, which were badly damaged in a major fire.

The blaze at the building in August took several days to put out.

The company has been granted Listed Building Planning Consent for new works to begin.

It is thought a cordon, which has left several businesses unable to trade, could be reduced once work begins.

A Primark spokesperson said: "We welcome Belfast City Council's approval of our Bank Buildings Listed Building Consent Application.

"We are starting immediately and we anticipate that this phase of work will be on-going over a number of months."

The company, which trades as Penneys in the Republic of Ireland, says it will continue to work with the council and other stakeholders to expedite its conservation-led approach.

File photo

The spokesperson added: "At the same time, we recognise how important it is to reduce the protective cordon.

"We have agreed a walkway solution with the council to open up Royal Avenue. Work has started and it should be in place in a matter of weeks.

"Since the devastating fire at Bank Buildings, it has been our ambition to be up and trading in Belfast as soon as possible.

"We are planning to open in Commonwealth House, Castle Street in December.

"We believe that opening up a Primark store in the city centre at this time will help to restore footfall into the area," the spokesperson said.

The blaze broke out as workers were nearing the end of a multi-million euro refurbishment of the historic building, which dates back to 1787.

A 45-metre exclusion zone was initially set up around the building.

Primark later confirmed that all staff from the destroyed store would be paid until the end of the year.